UnionPay China Invests CNY 3 Billion to Enhance Payment Accessibility

UnionPay China Invests CNY 3 Billion to Enhance Payment Accessibility

by March 19, 2024

UnionPay, a Chinese state-owned financial services firm, has unveiled Project Excellence 2024 in a bid to optimise payment services across the country.

The project comes in response to the State Council’s recent guidelines calling for improvements in the payment services sector to cater to diverse user needs, including those of senior citizens and international visitors.

Under the leadership of the PBOC and local governments, China UnionPay will team up with banks, China UMS, and acquirers both within and outside of China’s mainland.

The initiative aims for the extensive availability of full solutions in all use cases across China, enhancing collaboration with banks and payment institutions, expediting payment code interoperability, and strengthening partnerships with Chinese clearing institutions.

Additionally, UnionPay plans to engage in further consultations with other international card schemes to jointly establish a convenient, open, and inclusive payment ecosystem.

Project Excellence 2024 seeks to address the guidelines by investing CNY 3 billion in enhancing payment infrastructure and expanding service accessibility in 41 key cities.

The project will focus on upgrading terminals, increasing signage, and boosting public awareness to support a more inclusive payment system that facilitates mobile, card, and cash transactions.

Additionally, UnionPay has also signed agreements with partners from the Philippines, Australia, and Pakistan to issue three million of its cards.

Ten major wallets, including AEON in Hong Kong SAR, OCBC in Singapore, and the LPB e-wallet in Vietnam, now support UnionPay QR payments, estimated to cover 60 million potential customers.

Themed marketing campaigns targeting travelers have also been launched alongside Project Excellence 2024, available at visa centers, airlines, online travel agencies, and over 100,000 merchants in several locations including Shanghai, Guangdong, Zhejiang, and Shenzhen.

Nearly 20 issuers from countries such as South Korea, Thailand, and Kazakhstan will offer up to 12% cashback to their cardholders who use UnionPay cards in China.

While improving services such as card acceptance and ATM cash withdrawal, China UnionPay has rolled out the senior-friendly version of the UnionPay app.

Furthermore, UnionPay has issued over 230 million cards outside China’s mainland, launched nearly 200 UnionPay-powered e-wallets, and extended the acceptance network to 183 countries and regions.

The initiative reflects a concerted effort to bridge the digital divide and make payments more accessible for all, including the elderly and international tourists.